Last week the man who served as the official spokesperson to President Donald Trump stepped down after six unforgettable months.
The US political pundits claim that the Press Secretary jumped before he was pushed. There will be people, likely including his boss, who will not miss him and there will be some, such as the late night talk show hosts for whom he provided ample material, who will feel his absence.
In one of the more unusual posts to appear on Charity Connect I've pulled out 3 lessons from Spicer's decision that may be helpful to those who hold leadership positions in our sector. These lessons are, in part, inspired by the writings of Heidi Moore who wrote of 11 signs that corporate executives in the US will be alert too.
In fundraising we will all feel a pressure to deliver for our donors and beneficiaries. At times this pressure can be intense - after all there are people dependent upon the services and support our charities provide. Should a time come when you don't feel a pressure to deliver from your boss (possibly a Board, CEO or Director) it could mean that they have decided that you are not crucial to them or their strategy going forward. In the short term whilst you are becoming less relevant you will at least be enjoying some less stressful days.
We probably all spend too much time in meetings so not being invited to some may seem like a blessing. However, a seat at the table when the important decisions are made is required; especially when we consider that one of the main responsibility of those who lead fundraising functions is to make their organisation fundraisable. To achieve this you need to be able to be part of the conversation on the direction of the organisation.
Everyone enjoys those times when the boss is on holiday or you have a day when you have 'peace' to get in with things. These breaks in communications are very different to the vacuums that some experience. Warning signs can be that it now takes longer for an email to be actioned, your phone calls are not returned, meetings are cancelled on short notice or you start to hear rumours of dis-satisfaction with you/your work.
These three issues may be signs that it is time for you (like Spicer) to move on but they, of course, can be overcome. By learning to be alert to signs like these you could be pro-active and as a consequence place yourself in a greater position and even grow your personal influence within the organisation. Either way you will have control over your own future and be able to plan ahead.